Nicknamed the eye of Paris by Henry Miller, the US author, Brassaï was a millenial of the XX-th century born in Brasso/Brasov.

Brassaï the artist took his nom-de-guerre, not so much a nom-de-plume, ‘from Brasso’. His photographs of Paris in general, not only the nightlife, depict individuals almost at war with each other, even when love is in the air. Tension and dynamism are his trademarks and remain unequalled though countlessly copied by the more ‘talented’ fashion photographer of our day. That is probably because Brassaï speaks of something in a deeper vein than ‘French life as fashion’, and his eye is not vain and self-referential in any regard. Not part of the lost generation but the one after that, decimated by the second world war, Brassaï was left stateless for a long number of years until the French society granted him, and his fame, status as French.

More recently, a little known square in Brasov’s old historic town was named Brassaï. In death, Brassaï continues to speak as the artist who made it on his own, through his own gift, and paid tribute to the place that influenced his beginnings, but not to the people of today that cannot honour him openly and honestly more than the EU funding dictates – and there is a lesson in that which favours the true artist. For the Romanians (or local politicians) still obsessing Bucharest was labelled the little Paris of the East during world wars, this retrospective shows the real thing, how it probably felt, behaved and definitely, looked.